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Agents – how can you provide the best service for consumers during lockdown?

25 November 2020 18656 Views
Agents – how can you provide the best service for consumers during lockdown?

So, we’re back to where we were in the spring, more or less. England is in a national lockdown again to try and reduce the number of infections and related deaths from Covid-19, and to ensure the NHS doesn’t collapse under the pressure of dealing with the pandemic.

Restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, non-essential shops, gyms and leisure venues have all had to close their doors, with the lockdown (which started on November 5) set to last until December 2. However, many think this might be extended if the disease isn’t back under control by that point and the all-important R number isn’t back below 1.

Gladly, from a property point of view, the sector is this time being allowed to remain open, with all the normal caveats about operating during Covid-19. The market also remains very buoyant, as buyers and sellers alike seek to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and positive conditions.

All the research carried out recently – from NAEA Propertymark to Zoopla – points to a thriving market which shows no signs of slowing down, even despite Covid. The traditional slowdown in the last few weeks before Christmas isn’t set to be as pronounced this year, as people know they must act fast to ensure they don’t miss out on stamp duty savings.

This is motivating many to push forward with their sales and purchases, even as December nears. This year, too, Christmas is likely to be a very different affair, with far fewer gatherings and events taking place. This could mean buyers and sellers have more time to focus on their transactions as they are less distracted by the festivities.

Despite the ongoing robustness of the market, and the fact that the industry can remain open this time (unlike Lockdown 1), there are still likely to be challenges for agents in the months ahead.

Here, we quickly outline some top tips to ensure your service levels don’t suffer during Lockdown 2.0.

Keep in contact

It might sound obvious, but it’s more vital than ever at the moment, with the uncertainty potentially felt by sellers.

What’s more, with face-to-face and in-person meetings still largely discouraged, communication in other ways is going to be crucial – whether that’s over the phone, through email, via text or WhatsApp, or a video call on Zoom, FaceTime, Teams or Skype.

It’s important that you keep your clients updated on a regular basis about the current progress of their transaction and what you’re doing to help it over the line. 24/7 customer portals – giving sellers the ability to track their transaction in real time - can really help here.

Follow the Covid protocols

Agencies across the UK have adapted amazingly well to the new normal since March, putting in place processes, regulations and protocols to ensure clients are kept as safe as possible during the sale of a home.

So, you will more than likely already be well-versed in what you need to do, and have your strategy well-honed. But it’s important not to get complacent, now more than ever, and to remember that it’s in everyone’s interests to do everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus.

You can see the latest government guidance on moving home here. You can also see the official guidance on what agents can do in Lockdown 2 here.

Utilise tech

We’ve been banging the drum for greater use of tech in property transactions for years, but it took a pandemic to really show the value of things like virtual viewings and PropTech solutions. The Land Registry, too, is ramping up its digital revolution in light of the pandemic.

The world will be more digital than ever post-Covid, with many of the traditional manual processes still relied upon by agents replaced by automated or digital solutions, all with the goal of speeding up transactions and giving agents more time to do what they do best – getting sales over the line in a smooth, seamless fashion, for the best possible asking price.

To find out more about how tech can help your business to thrive – from an all-in-one, cloud-based software system, to slick, user-friendly websites (your virtual shop window - please get in contact with us at Gnomen today.

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